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Domestic Violence

When you need a capable criminal attorney with experience fighting domestic violence cases in San Francisco County, count on the Law Office of Matt Sullivan for excellent legal representation and guidance. Mr. Sullivan has handled many domestic violence cases in San Francisco County. Domestic violence is an offense that is heavily punished under California law. Even if you are being investigated and have not been arrested, it is to your benefit to consult with an experienced lawyer. Once law enforcement is involved, it is no longer in your hands. By contacting our office immediately, you can begin the crucial early investigation and preservation of evidence necessary to adequately defend this type of case.

Domestic violence encompasses a wide scope of offenses including assault, trespassing, spousal or child abuse, harassment and restraining order violations. Regardless of the offense you have been accused of or arrested for, it is critical that you obtain the services of a skilled criminal attorney right away. A conviction will have a negative impact on other issues including having access to your home/property, child visitation/custody, and other areas of your life.

Whether you are innocent or believe you may have violated the law, a lawyer with experience defending domestic violence cases can assist you so that the negative impact to your life is lessened. If convicted, you may face substantial fines along with jail/prison time, court ordered anger management classes, even restricted access to your own children. A permanent criminal record will impact many areas of your life, including your career, professional licensing, and/or employment opportunities. You can be prohibited from owning firearms for life if you are convicted of domestic violence.

Attorneys who regularly defend cases in this area of the law understand that simple arguments often become heated exchanges. You may be shocked to find that your spouse/partner has accused you of domestic violence, and feel that you have not done anything that would be considered violent or a threat of harm. However, never attempt to explain this to police in order to get yourself out of the situation, as they are not in a position to determine your guilt or innocence. Only a capable attorney can effectively prevent your rights from being violated by police or prosecutors.

These types of cases are often complex; although you do have rights, police often do not respect those rights. Two of the most important are your right to remain silent, and your right to an attorney. Do not let law enforcement persuade you into saying anything without the presence of your lawyer.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in San Francisco County or are being investigated, do not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal lawyer. At the Law Office of Matt Sullivan, you can count on strong, effective legal counsel and a caring, creative, committed advocate for you.

Domestic Violence in San Francisco County-Frequently Asked Questions What Charges Will the Prosecutor File Against Me?

Common Charges
There are a number of common charges brought by the San Francisco District Attorney in a Domestic Violence case. You can be charged with a violation of Penal Code 273.5, basically injury to your spouse or cohabitant. You can be charged with a violation of Penal Code 243(e)(1), domestic battery. You could be charged with a violation of Penal Code 245 (a)(4), an assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. You could also be charged with a violation of Penal Code 422, making a criminal threat. Another common charge is false imprisonment, a violation of Penal Code 236. If any children were in the house, the District Attorney may charge you with a violation of Penal Code 273(a), child endangerment.

What Happens at My First Court Appearance?

At your first court appearance before the judge, in a misdemeanor or a felony, the prosecutor may move to modify bail, even if you are already out of jail. Your defense attorney can object to any modification. It is possible your defense attorney may move to have you released on your own recognizance or have bail reduced.

Most likely, the prosecutor will file a request for a criminal protective order. This will prohibit you from having any contact with your spouse or partner. In many cases, this can prohibit you from being able to return home while the case is pending. There are ways to move to modify this criminal protective order but it is really dependent on facts of the case.

The filing of a criminal protective order will require you to surrender all firearms you own or possess. The firearms can be held by a licensed gun store or sold through a licensed gun store, or transferred to another individual through a licensed gun store. My office can walk you through this process as we have helped many clients in this situation.

What Happens if I go to Trial in My Domestic Violence Case?

If you go to trial in your domestic violence case, you and your attorney will prepare extensively and develop a theory and theme of your case. My office has years of experience preparing domestic violence cases for trial. It is a long process, and you will work closely with your lawyer in preparing your case for trial. Your attorney may file various motions to obtain all of the information from the prosecutor about the case. A jury trial consists of selecting a jury of your peers from a jury panel composed of county residents. After the jury is selected there are opening statements, presentation of evidence by both sides, and closing arguments. After closing arguments and jury instructions are read, the jury will deliberate until they reach a verdict.

What Happens if I Plead Guilty in My Domestic Violence Case?

The usual sentence in a misdemeanor domestic violence case is to attend and complete the 52 week batterers program, probation, court fines and fees, and possibly some county jail time. You may be eligible to complete any jail sentence through the Sheriff's Work Program. If the other party is complaining of injury, or there is some evidence of serious injury, the District Attorney may charge the case as a felony. If the case is a felony, you could be facing state prison or a lengthy probation term and county jail time.

Common Defenses in a Domestic Violence Case

Call the office to discuss your particular set of facts. Every case is different. Sometimes your defense may include consultation with medical experts or mental health experts.

Client Reviews
Mr. Sullivan helped me out during a very difficult time for me personally, and I am very satisfied with the outcome. He, unlike other attorneys that I spoke to, wasn't dramatic or falsely enthusiastic, and that was reassuring. He was savvy and realistic, experienced, a listener, flexible and affordable. D. Client
Over the past two years I have experienced extreme legal difficulties. We were unable to get help from anywhere. Within 24 hours of contacting Matt, I felt that I had finally found someone who could assist me in working towards resolving our situation. I highly recommend Mr. Sullivan. B. Client
I hired Mr. Sullivan to represent me in my DUI trial. He fought hard for me in a very difficult case, which we won. I was very happy with his services. It was obvious he cared about me and my case. He is a real attorney who will stand up for you. M.R.